memory saturday...

"When the gun shoots, you got to go." ATO BOLDON

Uh! Getting up so early (5:30?) for a training run in the morning in Boston with my Alzheimer's teammates, I scurry from BZ's place near South Station...ok, I have no clue where I am going...I think I took a right instead of a left...opps! I tried to find my way and ended up walking a bit of the Mass Pike ramp towards the Bus station...I was there early and awaiting for my coach to pick me up...umm...very early where I was out there at 6:30 and he picked me up at 7 or so...uh! The winds were sooo cold and I wasn't going to wait inside because I thought I was going to miss him.

Anyways he came finally, got in the van, picked up more people and headed to Woodland T station to pick up the rest of the team....

As we were late, seemed like we were picking up only a few members since no one was visible from the van...then everyone started to come out in full force...there was about 12 to 15 of us and I wasn't even sure if everyone could fit!!!

Alright... We start to drive off right along the marathon route as it brings memories of the first marathon Boston that I had done last year. It was special and clearly what makes it more special is that Bostonites run and train early on the course...up and down you see these groups...it is pretty amazing...

My teammate and captain, EC, he was joking around and many were excited to see me. Or maybe everyone was excited to be running this long run...we were describing the course and the experience to a full on newbie to the marathon. Ahhh...she's going from 3 miles to a full blown 26.2 miles...now that is truly amazing. We were discussing how fast people have so much respect for slower runners in the marathon. We say we cannot do it...we can't be on our feet for more than 3:30....well, I cannot be on my feet for that long. I seriously can not go for more than 3:30 and not go to the bathroom, since I have proven that at Steamboat Springs CO...

Respect is a huge deal. I have respect for first timers, respect for older runners, respect for those people who have never done a marathon before and are trying it out just to do...

It's just amazing! So we land at the starting line of the Boston Marathon. Most of us get out and then some just start rolling...they are gone, out along the course and I was amazed since last time we did it, we grouped up into two's. Everyone left as EC, BK and B ( a new chica, who I learned is superfast and kicks my butt anytime) I truly respected her for running a consistent 3:11 and later on kicks my 10 miler and half times out of the water!). Wow...seriously...

Anyways, what was EC doing with us? He ran practically a good portion and I was very impressed!!!

Anyways, B, BK and I ran the whole way though as I documented various people along the way....with taking pictures, I can tell that some people liked it, while others did not, so I stopped a little ways through as we chatted about their little excursion at Martha's vineyard...it was as though I had been there. Though at one of the pit stops, we saw a credit card on the floor outside the bank, I went back to get it as to hand it in...not use it...come on now!

Do the right thing here...as we geared up some long hills ahead, we were nearing the end, but we went farther than the others...we were doing 21 as we went up the chestnut hill (hills of heartbreak hills) we picked it up too about 7 notches...we were about 75 percent I would have to say and by this time we should be well...as New Bedford looms in the air 2 weeks away...

We finish up at the T stop, CH was there!!! ahh, love, CH as there are a few members of this team that I do care about so dearly...she also made these kick ass cookies that were so amazing!

Anyways, RS and I waited for the last person with the Dales and it was COLD! In all, I have great respect for Jess for finishing all of that....

Mad prompts to her....


So close, yet so far...

"Some runners judge performance by whether they won or lost. Others define success or failure by how fast they ran. Only you can judge your performance. Avoid letting others sit in judgment of you." HAL HIGDON

So having 4 hours of sleep and a crazy day of running everywhere did not stop me from running. I needed it after this weekend and the pent up frustrations that I had from work.

Let's just put it this way where I enjoy running and the soothing aspects me to release all of my complaints and anger and what not away.

So I was deciding on either going up to Central Park or running my regular friday night route...it was cold when I returned home after work and the effort of just getting back out the door was pushing me to just stay home...but I needed the run.

I quickly put on all of my running clothes and basically went out the door. I decided with my motivation to just run the regular friday run of 10 miles and call it a day...

As I rounded out the east side, it was beautiful to see the classic lights on the Brooklyn Bridge. It was absolutely lovely to see and appreciate the decadence of just the pure beauty of night in NYC.

I rounded the bottom half of the Staten Island Ferry and went on my usual ways toward the Westside Highway of the usual downtown runs. Ifocused a little more of just keeping pace and seeing how I can pace at a 3:10 marathon pace, which I will be doing in Boston and in the New Jersey Marathon's...that is the ultimate goal...anywhere between 3:10:00 and 3:10:59. You will know you are a good pacer and runner if you can do that.

Anyways, so as I was getting off the west side highway, I ran straight up 10th ave towards 18th street, thinking I was going to run straight across...although that quickly changed as I continued up towards 23rd street. I then had a brilliant idea on snaking through going up and down the avenues from 14th to 23rd and back down, until reaching my apartment. You would think that itaks only 8 rows of streets, although there were many more included like Irving and park...but it was tough...my stomach was growling for food and as I was almost home 2 blocks away, the mind weakens and basically you have to train yourself to resist temptation and continue on with what your original goal was...

You have to astick with your guns and do what you set out to accomplish...yes, I come up with some of the craziest runs to keep my running mind occupied, but you have to roll with it.

At the end, I thought...You learn something about yourself, about others and about things in general on every run....

Embrace it, learn, love and live...

I was exhaused afterwards!!!

Get you ASH on...‏


Woke up this morning feeling like a MACK truck had hit me. Either that or I had just ran a marathon, minus the legs feeling sore and what not. Just the emotionally and physically soreness of exhaustion...

So going to an engineers office in midtown to get drawing signed by our MEP engineer, I run into SR, whom I have not seen in quite a while. I love seeing SR, since we share another similarity than just running...we share AD...whom is probably reading this. But anyways, I tapped her with my drawings as she probably didn't know who was hitting her...iKs surprised that she didn't karate chop me though.

We were right outside the church and she was contimplating about getting her ash's...my first reactions were like, WHY? Then I recalled the day...and remembered that it was Ash Wednesday today.

It was just good seeing SR for that small moment, although she made my day, since I had been having such crappy long days at work...her with her cool adidas gloves on and all that!

Anyways, moved on to see the engineers, I got to the engineers office quite early and didn't see my old co-worker from LHP. But as I was leraving HL was there! We chatted for a while and then I had to leave due to a crazy work schedule...

Work? Yeah basically this morning I was like a chicken with my head cut off. Both my other co-workers were out of the office and I was left to myself to get all this stuff done...I had an arguement with the other engineers and the printer was not helping me out at all either...

Then, I had to run out to get these plans approved...my response to some of my co-workers...

"What? You guys think I am a marathon runner?"

Seriously...went to the SCA office and RAN everywhere...here, there...everywhere...

Did we get our stuff approved?

Well...sort of...my PM came in to say something and before that, I was again running around to get these forms noterized...oh lovely...try running when you only have like 4 hours of sleep on your body...well, I really am going to try to do this later on tonight...

So, signed, sealed and stamped and the day is gone...reviewer left and I am there to stamp....stamp...stamp....

Back to work....dropping stuff off and going home. I'll run off some steam tonight....don't know what I'll do....


Rest day, but Pikes Peak!

"Running is a kind of investment in yourself." KEVIN NELSON, The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration

Rest day...although finding out that we got our deadline moved, I can go to the Flyer Annual business meeting after speedwork tonight. I told GW that I would be there early to basically hash out some items for the Marathon Training Program, where I figured that I would pick up on and help him out. No one showed interest in it and well, I wanted to do more for the club...also considering taking on Thursday Group runs as well to help PBJ out as well...

anyways, read this during lunch this afternoon and figured...hey, there are more crazy runners out there as crazy as I am...

See, at least I am not as crazy as this guy!

Pikes Peak marathon and Half marathon is my ultimate goal...but that will come later on...since I have already done Colorado as a state...but the goofy...I call this one CRAZY...is a challenge...

read on...

Pushing the Limit
At 44, a Running Career Again in Ascent

Last year Matt Carpenter won six long-distance races, setting two course records. He is currently training for the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colo., in June.

Kevin Moloney for The New York Times
Published: February 23, 2009

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — The course follows old Ute tribe trails 20 miles up, down and around Pikes Peak, a narrow, gravelly passage rising 7,815 feet to crest 14,110 feet above sea level. Tourists with respiratory ailments are cautioned against making such an ascent, even by car. Motorists on nearby roads are advised to employ manual transmission. Promotional materials for the summit warn of altitude sickness, lightning, hypothermia, rattlesnakes and wild animals carrying bubonic plague.

Matt Carpenter expected to run it in about three hours.

At 44, Carpenter is known as the grand paladin of high-altitude distance running. In 1993, he set record times — still standing — for the 13.3-mile Pikes Peak Ascent and the Pikes Peak Marathon, races he won again in 2001 and 2007, both times on consecutive days. He has also set speed marks in a high-altitude flat-surface marathon, a 50-mile race and a 100-mile race.
In 2002, after his marriage, the loss of his sponsorship and the birth of his daughter, Carpenter was considered a champion in eclipse. Nearing his 39th birthday, he won only the familiar Pikes Peak Ascent, with a time 22 minutes behind his own record, and placed 33rd at another mountain race.

But as the milestones of fleeting youth have given way to the slipstream of middle age, Carpenter has returned to form. Last year, he won six long-distance races, setting two course records. And he is training for the Teva Mountain Games in June in Vail, Colo.
“Whenever we race, I know it’s going to be a good competition — unless it’s at high altitude, and then I don’t stand a chance,” said Uli Steidl, 36, who placed second behind Carpenter at a 50-mile race in San Francisco in December.

In part, Carpenter has owed his prowess to his physiology. His resting heart rate has been measured at 33 beats a minute, lower than those of Michael Phelps and many astronauts. In a test at the United States Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Carpenter’s VO2 max, a gauge of the body’s ability to process oxygen, registered at 90.2, perhaps a record high for a runner. (Only Bjorn Daehlie, a Norwegian cross-country skier, has scored higher. Lance Armstrong recorded an 81.)

Still, cardiorespiratory capacity can take an athlete only so far. Carpenter runs at least three hours every other day. On alternate days — rest days, he calls them — he runs an hour and a half. Though weather seldom impedes him, he owns a $10,000 220-volt treadmill with three motors capable of providing an impossible pace of 3 minutes 20 seconds a mile on a 27 percent grade. And he lives here, at the base of Pikes Peak.

No rigorous antidoping program exists in high-altitude trail running, primarily because such an effort would be prohibitively expensive. Carpenter has never been publicly accused of doping; he said he has never taken performance-enhancing drugs and was happy to be tested any time.
“He trains as hard as he needs to win, and then he’ll do a little more,” said Nancy Hobbs, the executive director of the American Trail Running Association.

A stick figure at 5 feet 7 inches and 122 pounds, with pinched features and bright blue eyes, Carpenter wears a mop of unkempt hair that gives him the appearance of a sideman for a rock band reunion tour.

Born in Asheville, N.C., he moved from state to state with his mother, who was divorced, sickly and struggling to hold down work, he said. By his account, he spent his childhood in rabid pursuit of arbitrary goals. Whole days were given to throwing a tennis ball against a wall. He once held his breath underwater until he blacked out. In high school, a class schedule conflict deposited him on the cross-country team.

“I actually thought we were going to run across the country,” Carpenter said. “I thought we’d get out of school a lot.”

As a teenager, Carpenter learned that the man he had believed to be his father was actually his adoptive stepfather. In his freshman year of college, his mother committed suicide. For years, he dreamed of his biological father, who eventually tracked him down through his running career.
“I’d always made him whatever I wanted to be,” Carpenter said of his father. “If I felt poor, I made him a rich guy. If I needed an athlete, I made him a fast runner.”

Carpenter did not find his stride as an athlete until his mid-20s. In 1989, he left a computing job to focus on running. He won 7 of his first 14 races. Two of them had the word “climb” in their name; a third, the Pikes Peak Marathon, did not need to.

In 1993, an Italian group called the Skyrunners recruited Carpenter to run a marathon on a high-altitude flat course in the Himalayas. He spent the next seven years traveling the world for Fila. The company cast a mold of his feet for custom shoes.

They’d point to a mountain, and we’d run up it,” Carpenter said. “I felt with every race that somebody was trying to beat me and take away my sponsorship.”

Though he found relatively little success on traditional courses, placing 42nd at the Boston Marathon in 1995, Carpenter won 15 of the 17 high-altitude marathons he entered in the next seven years. He founded a group called the Incline Club, leading weekly training runs around Pikes Peak. He married a member, Yvonne Franceschini, in a ceremony on one of the group’s outings. The newlyweds tied cans to their backs and ran home.

Every Sunday, Carpenter has returned to lead the club’s training runs, proselytizing local joggers with his training philosophy: “Go out hard; when it hurts, speed up.”

In 2000, Fila dropped the Skyrunners program, said Lauren Mallon, a spokeswoman for the company. On July 9, 2002, to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Kyla, Carpenter ended a streak of running on consecutive days for 5 years 57 days. He stopped doing his sit-ups, took shortcuts, slept poorly and started losing races.

“Somebody told me you don’t know who you are until you do a 100-miler,” Carpenter said. “I said, ‘Damned if I’m going to die and not know who I am.’ ”

So Carpenter started lifting weights. He strengthened his core muscles. He enlisted his wife and daughter as crew members. Soon, family life turned into something resembling the “Gonna Fly Now” montage, only with more running.

In August 2004, Carpenter entered the Leadville Trail 100, known as the Race Across the Sky. Partway through, his quadriceps gave out. Sometime after midnight, walking the last 30 miles with his knees locked up in the manner of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, Carpenter finished in 14th place.

A year later, Carpenter returned to beat his own time by seven hours, win the race and break the course record by 93 minutes. Since 2005, he has won 13 more distance races, including a 50-miler. No one has beaten him in the marathon on Pikes Peak.

“A lot of people say you want to quit at the top of your game, but I don’t want to quit at the top,” Carpenter said. “I want to know where the edge is, and I want to know when it’s going to stop, and if I slow down and drag out running, so be it.

“At this point, I like that fine line of balancing right between injury and not injury, seeing what I can get out of my body. Sometimes I lie in bed at night and wonder if I’ve done all I can, and if I haven’t, I go out at night and do more.”

Just after dawn one Sunday last month, as a light snowfall prettied the old town square, Carpenter led a group of runners past buildings here with names that seemed to taunt: the Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama, a dinner theater; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a church. The group made a sharp right turn at the outskirts of town, climbing into the mountains.

Here, snow-muddled conifers canopied the trail like some desert Sleepy Hollow. The runners trudged upward, ignoring the bitter cold, the twilit vistas, the call of some distant wild thing attacking its breakfast. Three hours later, breathing steadily, Carpenter quizzed his charges, climbed into his sport-utility vehicle, and set off to fix a peanut butter sandwich.

“It’s neat,” he said, “to see all these other people develop a passion.”


Bone chillin'

"No other amputee had attempted to run a marathon before. The norms of society, and of sport, dictated that it was an impossible event, but I was soon to let it be known that it was, indeed, possible." DICK TRAUM

Wow...just starting up last night was not fun, as the very few people showed up for the group run. AE, JS, JS, the new member, JG and I followed leader JA, as DG was not there last night. It was just cold standing at on the sidewalk as we got going...ES showed up as we stopped at the stoplight and JG, ES and I decided to try out the piers.

Boy, were we somewhat stupid...as we went toward the west, wind just blew straight at us, it was BAD! Somewhat entertaining, although it was bone chilling. We decided to do more...and finish up on the way there, as we didn't want to know what faced us in on the way back.
We rounded up NS as she was waiting at the soccer pier for the last person, although the last people were actually on the bike path and actually passed her already.

We rounded out and still went on our merry way, some of us thinking why did we come out today and run...JG didn't have enough clothes and was pretty much dreading it, but mad propts for keeping up with us. We rounded around the financial center when we see NS on the bike path. NS had fallen and was looking for $2 for the subway...I gave up my running metrocard for her and told her to give it back whenever we saw each other again...

Then we tried to go around the winter garden, although it was closed and had to go around...which the blistering winds came at you pretty quickly. Harsh harsh times and our only refuge was some various barriers. But then I had to pee and well...the nike shack...yeah, sorry!

Anyways JG had some bathroom issues as well and never made it back with us...ES and I stayed a while till NS passed and no way he was lost or behind NS....

We stolled back...trying to find refuge from the bone chilling wind...


Cherry Tree 10 Miler

"On a good day, it all blends. I feel a part of a private universe where everything comes together and feels great." MATTHEW SHAFNER

Waking up at 7am to basically get to Brooklyn before 9:30 since yesterday I was suppose to go get my number, but had too much work to get out of work. I have to pick up my number before 9:30, so I have provided extra time to get to my destination, since the subways are always late and basically on the weekends, I can probably run faster or equal to a destination early in the morning... But who wants to do that? Especially in this cold weather. Waking up in the morning and feeling the temperature in my room gives me a variable of what the temperature is outside...my room is slightly colder than the rest of my apartment...and listening to the weather reports the night before telling me that there will be snowfall or rain was not very inviting.
The temperature was going to be cold...who knows right? I thought it was going to be frigid due to the prediction of weather and also how yesterday was pretty chilly out of the sun and the wind just hammered you. Anyways, left this morning and the weather wasn't so bad...I can deal with this. I may have even worn too much clothing for a 10 miler...although in my mind, this will do anyways is thinking to protect myself from the cold...I don't like running in the cold. Really messes with your time, your lungs and well who wants to run in this weather? The Cherry Tree 10 miler really is not a race for me, but rather seeing where I am at during this point in training. It is weird because the next two marathons that I will be doing will be pacing for an Alzheimer's teammate and pacing the 3:10 group in Jersey Shore.

Travel time to Brooklyn: I rode the R subway as I was typing away on my blackberry and switched onto the F train, which took a while and then finally arrived, the trip totaled to 1 hour on the subway as I arrived in Brooklyn at 8:30-9am…30 minutes before, so I still had time to pick up my stuff. Got my baggage, stayed in the school as it looked as if it was going to rain, but more Flyers came as I had seen them pick up their bags and I chatted with a few. As I headed out to baggage, more and more flyers appeared. We gathered near the baggage tent and socially it was great to see everyone out. Not many winter races you get to see the crew out and about, so it's nice to socialize and have fun. It was warmer as the rain started to rain a little…and then headed for the start.

Game time decision though…run or race or just have fun. I had my camera out and I decided to ease into things. I saw some of the crew of the CHALLENGE: LC, AJ and TB…as I started with TB as we share a common bond in architecture-dorkiness and our passion for running. We chatted and strolled along for about a mile, then she told me to move on or rather she was pacing herself…which means to move on. I did and enjoyed the different scenery from Central Park and just enjoyed running again... I took pictures and knew that it was going to be a game time decision on how the weather was and how cold it would be, the way I had felt and really it was winter time, so no expectations on any races, just to enjoy myself and enjoy running. It was a good time just running by myself as I passed by some Reservoir Dogs and said hello. 3 loops, meaning three times on that hill, but it was short and you knew the course really well…although I didn't know where the finish line was…duh! It was right where we all huddled before at the baggage area…I questioned that for some reason…

in the end, we (TB, PD, CM and some other Flyers) walked back to the school, got some hot chocolate ate some bagels and waited for the awards show...which they messed up...TB won and award!! congrats to her...

anyways...LATE...to meet up with JM...opps!


NYC Marathon Costs

"Whatever the pace, run softly, run tall." JOE HENDERSON, Running 101
Published: February 20, 2009

The application process opened Thursday for the 40th running of the New York City Marathon on Nov. 1. The first big road races of the year have had record fields, so the marathon’s registration, which closes June 1, could increase for 2009.
The marathon has already had another significant increase. With the economic outlook uncertain, the organization that directs the race has raised its entry fees.
Members of the New York Road Runners will pay $13 more than they did last year, with the fee increasing to $138. Nonmembers will pay $171, an extra $16, and those from other countries entering the international lottery will pay $21 more, $231. The New York City Marathon is the most expensive premium marathon in the country.
“As much as we’d like not to raise the prices, it was necessary at this time,” said Mary Wittenberg, the president and chief executive of the Road Runners.
Wittenberg estimated that the organization’s cost per runner “is easily more than $250.” The entry fee was increased even though organizers realized the economy could worsen, Wittenberg said, and the marathon’s costs — such as cancellation insurance, liability insurance and special promotions for the race’s 40th anniversary — could rise.
“We’re sitting in a marketplace where we have to anticipate that costs will be up and revenue will be down,” Wittenberg said.
The race’s title sponsor, the embattled Dutch financial services company ING, is still committed to the marathon through 2010.
“We’re a not-for-profit, we can’t afford to lose money and we’re trying to break even," Wittenberg said, adding that the Road Runners decided not to raise its $40 membership fee this year.
Besides the marathon entry fee, the Road Runners charges an application processing fee of $11 (unchanged from last year). That fee is nonrefundable, which has led to frustration in the running world over paying for the right to be rejected.
Of the approximately 83,000 people (including automatic qualifiers and charity group runners) paying the $11 fee in 2008, 53,146 gained entry to last year’s race. After cancellations and deferrals, the 2008 race had 38,832 starters.
Wittenberg acknowledged the complaints and said the $11 fee went toward technology and other operating costs. “In an over-subscribed field, it does help ensure that there is a level of commitment of those individuals who sign up,” she said.
New York was not the only popular race to raise its entry fees this year. The Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon in Orlando, Fla., raised its fees by $20 to deal with rising costs that included labor, T-shirts, medals and insurance, said the race director, Jon Hughes.
“Putting on the race has just become more expensive,” he said.
It was the largest jump in fees in the history of the Disney marathon, which was founded in 1994 and was run on Jan. 11. Despite the increase, the races registered record fields. There was no application fee.
Along with Orlando, marathons and half-marathons in Miami, Houston and Phoenix last month also drew larger fields than ever.
The Boston Marathon, which will be run April 20, closed its registration on Jan. 26, capping the field at 25,000. Runners with qualifying times from the United States paid $110 ($116 if they registered online), and $150 for international runners ($6 more online).

The Windy City…

"Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion." GAIL W. KISLEVITZ

Nope, not talking about Chicago folks, I am not in Chicago. Today was like Chicago weather in NYC though, it was FREEZING, though it started last night when the temperature just dropped or felt like it dropped 20-30 degrees in the hours of 6-8…well the time that I got back to my apartment, switched into my running gear and got out for a run.

But that was last night and today was the same. I had to work today and I brought my gear in, though on my way to work, I had every doubt in my mind that I was not going to run today and give my legs a rest. By mid-day, I wanted to run, although pressed my hand against the window and yes, it was FREEZING! I was definitely not going to go out.

By end of the day around 5, I was convinced to go out. Things had changed and I needed to venture out and battle it out for a run. My brain was not functioning, myurge to run was way to strong…and I had to log in my miles…why? Because of the challenge…I need to get some more mileage points to lead the team down the road, since these guys are very unpredictable and knowing them, they can jump and spike their running mileage up by 100%! All are very capable of doing 2009 and I am the challenger remember?

I ran out of my office, out to the Monday group run and started from there. I went in the same direction along the west side and it was WINDY! Oh, I questioned myself on why I was running and why was I out there. It seemed a little warmer, except for the WIND though, as I went towards the west side…full blown straight shot into the wind which shocked me. Oh it was cold…I continued on, thinking about going onto the piers, I thought against it, it wasn’t worth it for today…

I did the usual round about trip on the west side following the Monday night run, rounding out and peering at the sunset along the Jersey side of NYC and later on saying hello to Lady Liberty. It was a nice calming day, although the Hudson was rumbling with high tides as high as splashes came up to the boardwalk. It was crazy! I rounded around the Winter Garden and got stopped as I came back around on the bike path side. What the hell? The security guard stopped me and told me to go around? What?


Anyways, finished my way back on the bike path, but it was brutal…gusts of wind blowing straight into your face…WINTER IS BACK…and the wind is blowing in this windy city…


New Running Shoes...

"We all need goals. Life is hard to live without one." TORY BAUCUM

Asics of course!

I had been deciding on where to get my new running shoes, since my rotation of older running shoes have been out of date...well, I think I had last purchased my running shoes in June and that was 6 months ago, but really have no clue. I would think that I would write it in my blog or something about such purchases...but nope, no cigar. How do you track your shoe mileage?

I decided to do a little shopping from store to store these past few weeks to get a price differential on which shoes to buy.

I am different than most people, most people would pay more for their training shoes. For me, I would rather pay more for my racing shoes, since for me training shoes get more mileage meaning that I have to rotate my shoes accordingly from week to week and workout to workout, and I replace my shoes so often that I need to buy more than one pair.

I fell in love with the 1120 series...yes, many of you are like, what? 1120 series? It was a long time ago, maybe even 2 years ago for that matter. Now the series has turned into 1130 or even 1140's...also there is a series of 2130 and 2140's...but yes, I go old school and I had bout about 4 pairs before the classic series went away. I use to buy my shoes at finishline.com as well with free shipping and different colors (to differentiate which shoe had more mileage and so on) but finishline, no longer carries Asic running shoes and well, then I no longer shop at finishline. Weird right? I use to get such great deals where my shoe was $50...so 2 shoes would be $100...and most people would only get one pair of shoes for $100...seriously now... Where do you buy your shoes? And at what price? Do you have brand loyalty? And series loyalty?

So now in search for a new shoe...which is difficult because you get so use to and familiar with your own shoe. The feel is different when you run in each shoe, the bounce, the bend, the grip...overall it is different when it comes down to it.

So, went from store to store trying to find the right pair. I knew of a pair that Pean, use to wear and I liked the lightness of it, but many of the stores around did not have my size...they were the DS trainers. So...I went to paragon since I can see the prices and they had a "sale" going on with their running shoes.

But the trouble was, they didn’t have my size. A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by Super Runner’s Shop to see what their prices were…whoooaaa $110, ok…next place on the shoe tour, New York Running Shop at the Time Warner Center, $100…ok, I can live with that, I guess…plus the 10% discount, which probably brings it to the same price due to tax. Ok…let’s see Jack Rabbits…ok…I love the store, but I hate how they don’t have prices on the shoes, they had them, but I wasn’t going to ask a salesperson, who are always busy to check the price…they were all around $100.

Now, since the DS trainers were a light shoe, the durability factor comes to play. Now since I run so often and have heavy mileage, I want a training shoe with some weight…weight you may ask. Yes, it’s better to train with a heavier shoe to add a little weight to your step, so come race day, the shoe weight of your racing shoe is a whole lot lighter and you will run a “whole lot faster”…that’s my psychology for you…

Anyways, I went back to Paragon many of times to see the other shoes that they had available…I tried on a few pairs today, since I was down in the dump with work and had to get away…it was rest day and it was raining, so it was ok to take a day off from running and what other thing to do…get running shoes!

OK…needed two pairs, but needed to see which one I like: bounce, cushioning, feel…

I took out about 2-3 pairs including the smaller size of the DS trainers – nope those were not going to fit…way too small…1130’s…ok they were good…for some reason one time I didn’t like the feel to the front part…but it was ok…and a good price. Hmm…this other one: Asics Speedstar 3…it was very light and I really liked the feel to it…but a little too light…but I can change this up in my training schedules…

Ok…so what else…anything else in a size 9? I asked…

Nope…none, so I was done, bought two running shoes and that’s that…rotation is in the works though. I had a pair of 1120’s that I was hording at work and they were not even worn yet…so that will go back home…my other pair that I am currently running in will be for Thursday long days, speedstar 3’s will be for Mondays and the new pairs…after Boston I’ll break them out for training on long days…

Ahh…the rotation of 4 different shoes…and one pair of racing shoes…

What am I going to do with my 2 pairs of rotation distance running?
Well…wear them to walk back and forth to work, of course!

6 pairs of running shoes at home (1 walking, 2 long runs, 2 new pairs and 1 racing)
2 pairs of running shoes at work (1 current pair (Mondays’and Thursday runs) and 1 new pair)

CRAZY huh? Yes, I am!
Oh...PS: as I was walking home from Paragon sports tonight, I saw two homeless people right outside between Irving and 3rd streets having SEX. The guy had his back to a storefront (both sitting down) girl was on top of him facing storefront and it was strange to see...and then all I see was the girl going up and down...up and down...
both were clothed, but it was raining and it was somewhat cold, but damn!!! that was a first...I never seen something like that! It was rather humorous...but not really since these people are getting more game than I am...
ha...funny, but not really...


What about our club?

"I know I can run a marathon, ironically something I couldn't do in my younger years. This aging thing isn't so bad after all." JIM MILLER

Hey G...

I got word that you were doing this and wanted to reach out to you from our team. I believe that you can pick just about anyone from our 600 large member team who are elegible in meeting your description.

I have been involved with the Flyers for 3 years now and just ended my term as being Secretary for our running club. Many of our members volunteer to make our team function as a whole, and when I say volunteer, I not only mean just for Flyer events. The Flyers have also taken a huge part in having the opportunity with the NYRR to take part in being pace leaders for the More Marathon and NYC Marathon Long Training Runs. I believe that since we are a 600 member strong team we have a very diverse field of runners that allow us to fit all the paces necessary.

Let me remind you that we still are runners. Many of our runners are called the "mid pack" people who run a 8 or 9 minute mile, which is a great time none of the less. We do have some very fast people and some very slow people, but that's what makes us so different. We appreciate running for what it really is...and that is for all people. We are a group that accepts you as a runner for what you are, what you could be and what other's can offer you.

What do I mean by this?
We are a very social club. Our club is not just a running club, but we allow people to gain the networking in life to get connected with other professions. As runners we talk about our jobs in our group runs as a therapy session. At the bars, we talk about our runs and how our running is going and where it will be going. We provide our weekly/monthly social events such as TGFF (thank god it's Flyer Friday's) at different locations around the city to provide people to get out more and not just run. We offer group runs just about anywhere around the city and sometimes even end our runs at the bar to socialize and grab a drink or a burger and socialize. Running to some of us is "our time" away from our significant others or Flyer time as some may say.
We also allow other teams to join us as well, so we can gain friends outside of our running club and socially network with other groups.

We all know that with running you can gain knowledge from almost anyone. In our running club, we believe that you can learn from just about anyone. From the beginner who ”by accident” does something as routine as breathing and how they breathe to a veteran who have done 100+ marathons, you can learn from anyone in our club.

Personally, I have been thinking about this. I have gained some great friends from this running group. Probably my best friends who care the most about me, even sometimes calling them family. Although I am unique, I am 27, I should be in a relatively "fast team", although I stick with the Flyers because I have pride in running for a club which is not "strict" about running. How is it that you can become such great friends, with some 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70+ year olds as your friends? At least you have one thing in common, which is running and after that you gain such great respect for people in what they actually do in life. You get to learn, ask about advice in both life and running...I think anyone in our club would freely give you the time of day to answer any questions.

So to this, I let you choose just about anyone from our club...I would even say it would be unique to have a few people's answers from our club, because well our club is so diverse from age, gender, speed, fun, serious to just about any adjective you can describe a runner...you name it, we have it.

(also, I have a great camaraderie story about the Boston marathon from my great group of Flyer Friends...I just didn't want to bore you do death...)

Very best,


Monday Run?

"It didn't matter that we were last. We knew we were finishing, that we would endure to the end." THOMAS KING


Yes, what I thought was going to be a double today, turned into a day of no running and rest.
What exactly happened?

Well, this morning I wanted to sleep in and rest. Then I was sure to think I was going to make it to the group run to run 6 miles...there was no need to run a doubler...not yet at least. So I stayed in to read a little, cut my hair and showered and got ready to go to work to do some things.

I went to work then left to go to my part time last job opportunity at the armory. It was money and I guess I can use it right now.

I didn't expect the meet to start later than it did and then as the last event was stringing along...it was really over for me to make it to the downtown group.

As I ride home on the subway, I'm thinking of either running alone on the west side and getting in those 6 miles or just waiting for the rough day tomorrow, where the pressure surmounts again and I can feel it coming...

I think I'll choose tomorrow instead...

Oh and I think I need to buy some new pairs of training shoes...two really to swap here and there...we'll hopefully have two colors to choose from.

Ahh...damn high jump!


Twenty - hitting the wall...

"To be consistently good, once you're in your own lane, you run your own race. For racing, this is the best way to take your nervous energy and turn it into positive energy." JOE DOUGLAS

So leaving last weeks brooklyn half, I was asking THE LAM how his training for Boston was going. He had told me that he was plabbibg on doing his 20 miler next weekend on saturday...I asked him if he had wanted company, and he said yes, although I had to pick the route. (I guess he had heard that I take these crazy routes around the city)

So, this week I devised a route, e-mailed him to ask if he was still in and he had said yes. I then opened it up to other flyers who were training for Boston, but I really didn't think many people would be going at our speed.

Today arrived as I ate a banana before leaving, packed water in my backpack, got some pop tarts, and grabbed another banana knowing along the route, I would have to eat. I also had granola bars and other recovery bars that I have been using during long runs to nurish myself and not get stricken from these hunger attacks that I know I usually get during my first two marathons...

Again, I have been smarter carrying food with me from my other incidents from other long runs in the past.

I met up with The Lam just right outside starbucks on. Union Square East and 15th street (that was the Crew's old hangout and meeting place - how I miss the crew...although we will gather again in the spring/summer once again).

We waited for about 3 minutes and were off, it was a windy, yet chilly, but sunny day and it was nice out. We started out chatting about Boston, as this was the first yeat that The Lam was doing this due to injury last year.

The route...
Start at 14th street running towards the east river, then head down towards Brooklyn Bridge, back over to Brooklyn, and then back, then went down broadway for a bit, turned left on Wall Street and back on the east river towards the Staten Island Ferry. Then towards the west side on the Hudson (including piers - where this was the usual monday night run, and my usual Friday runs as well), but after the piers, we went up past the USS Intrepid, and crossed at 59th street, where Columbus Circle was...this is where I was feeling the gas going on EMPTY.

As we went into Cebtral Park for a loop, I let Lam go...I didn't understand how tough it was for me to move at his pace...did he start it up or did I just fall back behind...at the reservior, I had to stop, though I felt bad for Lam, since he was trucking...got a banana in me and some water...took care of myself on a little rest and then went back out there to run again...though coming up towards the reservior, I felt a little twinge in my leg near my right achilies...not a pop though so that was good. A strain...I layed low a bit and told Lam to continue on since I needed to stretch and catch up at Engineers Gate. I did so, he left and then I saw Runner26, DM and KK...we chatted a bit and then they moved on as I wanted to stretch out my body. It was a tough 20 and by that point I probably got in about 18-19 miles...

I had the choice of taking the subway, but then strolled down towards the end of the park...where I definitely hit something. It felt as though I had hit a wall, where I thought about nothing, concentration was off, nothing was registering and everything in my mind was completely not there...it was a similar feeling of my first two marathons where I would lose my concentration due to the lack of amount of food intake the night before.

I quickly determined to eat some kind of granola bar from my bag, put my vest back on and after that, felt ok, better to run again. My mind was back and I just simply strolled back towards my apartment at a leisurely pace...

Hitting the wall ain't fun...but you have to prepare yourself better...lession learned...no more running with The Lam...



NYRR jipping me?

"There's nothing quite like your first marathon. The adrenaline just flows." SISTER MARION IRVINE
So I am checking over my balance statements for the month in my credit card bill and I look over to check what was charged from NYRR? That’s weird, I only signed up for one race so far this year…or maybe I didn’t? I have no clue…
I look over and see that the charge was for $30…hmm…did I sign up for two races? I quickly think I was charged for the Empire State building run up, which the amount was $30….hmm…quickly write JC an e-mail that works at NYRR…
I think you had notified me that I was not in the Empire State Building Run up this year, although I wanted the NYRR to know that I was charged for this under my American Express bill.
I had not received any notification that I was chosen or not, so I had e-mailed to get notification 2 weeks before the event.
Maybe since I was charged, I was accepted? Please refund me. Thanks.
Her response…
We had a small technical problem
I do not have access to our database
We hope to have this fixed during the weekend
I will respond to your email at that time
Please do not re-register if you are awaiting a race confirmation
We do apologize for the inconvenience
I will contact you as quickly as possible.
Then while writing this, I quickly remembered maybe signing up for two races:
Coogan’s and the Scotland run…
Although, I did not receive anything from the NYRR, where usually they send you an e-mail that I usually keep until the event is done.

I quickly respond to JC…
Hey JC...
Sorry, but maybe I may have gotten this incorrectly.
I had signed up for two races lately:
The Coogans and the scotland race...which may have led my dollar amount to $30...
But I did not receive a notice from the NYRR in any of my e-mails. I usually save these for record keeping, then after the race is over, i usually toss them...
But I don't have this in my records. Can you please check, resend the e-mail notificiation if this is was the charge.
Thanks so much...sorry for my mistake!

Oh my bad! Completely my bad with this one…I am losing my mind lately…
Oh…just need to focus more…



"Running changed my life and brought it into balance. I now feel as though my entire essence, body, and soul is centered." DONNA ISAACSON

Sometimes you just want to draw a line in the sand, cross over and then start over. That’s how my day went today…pretty much I just wish I can push the reset button in life. There have been three (3) different people in my work place have offered me advice to pick it up. Why? I’m already working like 150%...

It’s so grueling, demanding and well…I’m still learning. Why do they expect me to know all this stuff? I mean really now? Seriously? They are concerned about me, and I am concerned about myself. I don’t know if I have changed in the last 6 months, if I have received more work or if I am not meeting up with their expectations. I just know that I have gotten 5 different jobs on my hands that at times I feel very overwhelmed. But there is a time and a place. A time where I feel like I can take everything on, a time where things slow down and I like having 5 different jobs, and a time where I am overly booked. Where is the give and where is the take? I still seemed to have just learned the very basics of what I need to know. Everything is becoming a little routine, but still I don’t understand a whole lot sometimes and when I do ask (which I am suppose to ask questions. I feel stupid. I feel very stupid and feel that when I ask questions, people look down upon me. I feel downgraded to a level where I am dirt and whenever you ask a question, you are suppose to feel like you are ok, satisfied and move on knowing something better is coming out of it. When I ask questions, I feel like I am expected to know the answer, feel like how I forgot…

Whatever, Architecture is rough. Suck it up and move on… it has its rewards, although there are downtimes that really take the toll. For the past 2 weeks, I have been beaten up and chewed and spit out. I just came back from vacation (seriously, I should have not even taken that break off and some of the days I didn’t) what was I thinking? These are the reasons why I don’t take vacations. But move on…we’ll re-evaluate this weekend and try to make things better for me and my co-workers.


Anyways, my co-worker who sat me down told me that since I was a runner, you pretty much are very individualistic when you are a runner, she told me to be a team player, which our job is all about. Umm…ok…I know how to be a team player…no problem…we’ll just try harder.
In all, a good run tonight. Running is my only safety haven that I feel like I can control on my life. I feel free, free from thought, free from the world, free from evil. I don’t know what is wrong with me and really have been trying to work at 150%. I am giving everything to architecture…but it’s not enough. Guess the economy really has gotten me down. I ran up to Central Park and thought I had been late. Thought that I had to catch up with the group because I didn’t think I would make it up there in time. It was quite the windy night though and I should have worn something like pants instead of shorts…Shorts in February? Yes, it was about mid 40’s though the wind blowing was crazy!

I made it up right in time when the group was about to leave….just in time! PBJ, The Lam, NL (who usually never runs in the group), LFG…all present as I came in to join…E arrived shortly after as I sped up and chatted with him for a while about the Flyer Flu…as E had told me his episodes and told me that James had it. I had no clue that James got it. We went on discussing about the 2009 challenge that we had set up…which we both were scared about DL…who hasn’t even began running, although when he begins, be scared! BE VERY SCARED! E left me at 72nd street where I ran alone to the finish and then turned back around and headed back home…

On my way home on 9th avenue, I nearly got trampled by a Chinese delivery man almost hitting me straight on. I put my arms out, so he wouldn’t force upon me to get hurt, or him getting over his bars, …or even penetrating metal in me…anyways, everything can go wrong lately…

I just need to re-evaluate my situations and make the most out of things. Smooth things over and go with it…and if anything…run less…right?

Boston update:
Congratulations! We're honored that you will be one of the competitors in the 113th running of the Boston Marathon. Registration for this year's Boston Marathon sold out in record time, and we look forward to delivering you a memorable experience. Over the next two months, we will be sending you various information, including race news and participant details, as well as some special offers.
Best of luck with your training, and we look forward to seeing you in April. As a reminder, below are some upcoming key dates:

113th Boston Marathon Important Dates
February 27 (date has been been extended)

If you have improved upon your qualifying time, your seeding can be adjusted. Please send a copy of your confirmation card, with your improved time, to our Registration Office (One Ash Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748) by this date.

Late March
Bib numbers will be assigned and the break between Waves One and Two will be determined. Bib numbers will be determined by your qualifying time and posted at www.baa.org. Though the break between waves will vary from one year to the next, it occurred at approximately 3:35:00 in 2008.

Early April
You will receive your Number Pick-Up Card and Welcome Booklet with race instructions. Bib numbers and wave assignments will be printed on that card.

Friday, April 17 (2 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo
Hynes Memorial Convention Center

Saturday, April 18 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo
Hynes Memorial Convention Center

Sunday, April 19 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo
Hynes Memorial Convention Center

Monday, April 20
113th Boston Marathon


Water Water!

"This is not about instant gratification. You have to work hard for it, sweat for it, give up sleeping in on Sunday mornings." LAUREN FESSENDEN

Calming myself down after the little scare that we had on Sunday with my teammate, JJ…I think all of us were a little scared after that incident. I mean we can now re-evaluate our A-type personality that we, runners, have. What? We have A-type personalities? How can this be, I mean I don’t think we wake up early just to run long miles and so on…I mean do we? What? Where was I? The discipline to being a runner is extreme and we bring it to the extreme. Waking up at 6am or even earlier to run…run 26.2 miles…run 20 milers…have a training program and sticking with it…religiously? Come on…we are not that bad right?

Umm…sorry to break it to you folks…but I am included in this mess and I am just saying it, talking about it and reading it…thought, really now, I don’t practice what I preach though.
We need to take it easy, we need to take a few days rest here and there…appreciate life a little more and pick up another hobby maybe…

HA! Like that will happen…

Oh and on the side note…don’t you love this picture! I mean this is what I was doing the entire race of the Bronx Half…it was rather fun. I look like I am hogging the water stops! Really now, do you think I can drink this much water…seriously. I should show this to those who did the Chicago marathon 2 years ago and tell them that I did this during the horrible hot weather marathon. UH! Crazy! I love it!

Day off for me…yes, I take days off!!!!


Full Throttle

"For me, running is a lifestyle and an art. I'm more interested in the magic of it than the mechanics." LORRAINE MOLLER, Four-time New Zealand Olympian

So I was late to get to the Monday group run, but not by much. I was about a minute and I could see where the crew was about 2 blocks away. I got a little worried that it was not the crew, but sped up to catch up. I was late, but needed the run and I could always catch up to the group one way or the other. I finally caught them at the light as I was huffing and puffing…it was too early in the run to catch up. I went with CW though as we broke away from the pack. E was not there, so we were going at a pretty solid pace. We sped up, around the piers as the crew passed us. We went more piers and then had to play catch up. We were booking…We sped up and pretty solid pace, keeping our pace, chatting it up, but it was not the usual “chat”…kept pushing.

Although CW was not looking as he was tired at all, he had the speed, he had the short distance…but I pushed the distance always as that is my only thing that makes me better than him…in some ways…not really! I can beat him in a sprint…he doesn’t know that yet though.
We rounded out to Battery Park, saw some of the ladies there chatting away, we puffed and passed them…wanting to slow down, but urging to go faster to chase the lead pack. We rounded out towards the bike path…but we were sure we never passed Rocketman, PB&J or AE and JS…I mean AE and JS they go at their own leisurely pace, sometimes they go slow, sometimes no one can catch them…it’s quite remarkable.

But yes, we had yet caught up to the group and we were surprised because we were booking. Seriously booking. We went the other way now, piers and all as we chased down PBJ and Rocketman…but the gals were no where in sight. PBJ said that the gals were behind us, but how can that be? We never saw them…We continued anyways, fast as fast can be…CW even sped up on one of the piers…I mean as I wasn’t going fast enough…seriously, it was intense. I road out the last bit with sprints, as a taxi cut us off and we were not happy. We went right in front of him as he was stuck at a light…then he had to ride our asses…sucka!
We finished strong, I was out of breath when we got in…uh! It was tough…rev it into another gear!

A missed day...

"Are you truly dirty if you don't take a shower every day? No, but you feel that way. It's the same with running. Just like a shower, running is part of my daily life." NINA KUSCSIK

Ahhh!!! So stupid. After finding out this morning that I was the stupid one that had thought I was suppose to work on sunday after the race...uh!

Ok. I tried to be responsible. The question is, I was too eager...I was midway to my job when I received something from the track coach of my high school. He sent me a message telling me to work on Sunday...but I had thought it was (yesterday) so after the half marathon, I rushed home, showered and at lunch, got my stuff and left to go to the armory. Uh! I was so exhausted...when I got there, it was a catholic meet...all gals. Weird, something was up. But I didn't put two and two together. I was told that there was another meet after this and stayed thinking...ok, I need to be responsible and knew that TF may come to the next one because it involved some Westchester schools. I just didn't want to flake out on him...but was so exhaused...so I took a seat up on the bleachers and tried to take a nap...umm taking a nap at track meets can be done, although you here the gun go off at the start of each event...very nice huh?

What I am mad is that I totally wasted a day of my weekend off of my stupidity!!! So stupid.

So what did I do? I texted. for 3 hours to catch up on my missed days on my blog...slept and then worked the next meet since I was there.

I can't believe that I did that!


Bronx Half

"The most important day in any running program is rest. Rest days give your muscles time to recover so you can run again. Your muscles build in strength as you rest." HAL HIGDON

Woke up extra early to do 5 extra miles beforehand, so I left my apartment a little after 6am. I was amazed about the amount of runners waiting for the subway...and the subway did not come...so more runners accumulated. The subway finally came and I was stuck on a stinky subway...uh it smelled like a homeless person's foot...I hate that, I decided to battle it out, but I really should have switched cars. We finally arrived to the Bronx and I met up with AJ or NJ and LL or Laminator. We went to baggage as I saw other flyers: VT, GW and others...I got out of my clothes, dropped off my bad and was on my way. I wanted to do some kind of extra miles (I really don't know why, but one of my friends was doing it, so it sounded like a good idea). Anyways, I went out and did 2 and a half miles which would be on the safe side, where the start was just about to begin when I came around. I was going on the side and was looking for the RED corral where James would be. I was walking along and the national anthem was playing...all of a sudden I hear B! It was James and she was not afraid of calling out my name when the national anthem was playing and everyone was silent. The anouncements go on and I stroll around trying to take other flyer pictures. It was a good day, as I could take pictures with my camera as I paced James.

It felt good to pace though and be serious at the same time...although I had my camera, so I wasn't so serious, I sort of felt bad due to the amount of fun I was having taking pictures along the way.

She was rolling though, very consistant, growing as a runner where she knows her pace, feeling comfortable and really, she was leading me! It was good!

We finished up strong as she was joyful of her PR! Really, you did it all on your own James, I was just there to watch and see how you were doing...little encouragement here and there, but really it was all you. (Just the water situations...nada else!)

Oh...I thought James and this other gal were going to kill me when I was drinking out of my cup at one time (although I had like 3 cups of water) and I tried to drink gatorade...the wind picked up and the gatorade was blowing everywhere...even on James and the gal in back. of me...oh, they were not happy...I appologized!!!

In all...it was a beautiful day with nice weather and really couldn't ask for more.

On the way home by subway, the group of flyerd (JJ, JH, James, me. Laminator, GW, NJ) we all got the same subway car...JJ in the middle of the subway right felt faint and then all of a sudden went down...he was dehydrated and sick...(Found out that there were many flyers out there who did the race and had the "flyer flu"..they should not have been out there at all...they are sick, their bodies were recovering!!! And especially when you had the flu!! Your body is so tired and muscles ache after the flu!).

Runners are sick people...we all share the same addiction, we make bad decisions and only hurt our body even more. We opt out on injury and make our bodies worse. We go all out...all or nothing, where we can't do nothing...

Which comes to the question...when is enough...enough? I don't know...

I think I need to do 20 miles now...


26.2 Random Running Facts About Me

"Don't attack a hill from the very bottom - it's bigger than you are!" Harry Groves

Taken off of facebook, 25 Random Facts...which is hillarious to get to know someone without asking them...but not knowing them that well...but seeing what they would actually put down to the public eye. These are my 26.2 Random Running Facts that I put together this morning.

1. In high school, I use to be a sprinter, rather than a long distance runner…no, really a 55, 100, 200, 300 …up to 400 meter dash specialist and that was it. I set two individual school records – 100 (11.0) & 200 (23.1) meters, in high school. One of them still stands (200 meters)

2. I started as an “X” runner, which means when I was a freshman; I ran the races never to reach the semi-finals or finals…just for time.

3. All my true friends in high school did track – maybe it’s a trend? (running and friendship)

4. I never ran in college – only recreationally.

5. My first race in New York City was the Manhattan Half marathon – I had never done a Half Marathon before and just wanted to complete it. Scary how I pick a Half Marathon as my first race…does this surprise you?

6. I started running on a team {The New York Flyers – (NYF)} to gain friendships, contacts in other fields and running advice.

7. I had to choose between two teams: NYF and Central Park Track Club (CPTC), knowing nothing about both clubs. Essentially, I wanted a team that represented New York and wanted that recognition whenever I went away to a different state. a. I found that CPTC wanted my qualifying times in all different race disciplines (which I never ran any New York Road Runner (NYRR) races before and they had charged $100 as a membership fee.b. NYF had a $25 membership fee and seemed like it had many members doing certain races at certain times…so, 3 years later, I am still on the team.

8. I started running marathons after completing 7 or 9 half marathons (completing all the 5 grand prix borough’s that year) running the first 9 miles with my sister in the Marine Corp Marathon.

9. My first marathon time was 3:28.54

10. I have a running spreadsheet based on the Year, race that I competed in and times. Also on the spreadsheet are NYRR races, dates and other local races around the tri-state area for the year

11. The first year with the Flyers I only ran races with them. I never knew the members of the club – only a handful – Glen W, Lara K, Chris M, Nicole C. and Eric S. were the first people I have met because they were about my pace and I recognized them through the races.

12. I never truly became a member until the First Downtown Group Run (DT). There I met Rocket man, Jordan G. and Jamie M. and other true friends on the club today.

13. I always carry a camera in all of my marathons to capture the moment. While running you think about so many different things and see so many different things, why not? I also get bored, so it keeps me company during a marathon.14. I never run with an Ipod because I nearly killed myself running straight into the west side highway. I also like to hear my surroundings when I run (except for those hard breathers or heavy stompers)

15. I am a night runner rather than a morning runner.

16. I put about 500+ miles on my shoes – I know it’s wrong...don’t lecture me.

17. I have a strong tendency to “coach” people – Though with my coaching aspects, I feel as though I am a hypocrite, telling people the right advice and not following my own advice myself.

18. I am most proud of my Personal Record (PR) in my Boston Marathon time – 3:00:09. Although, I always want to break it and join the sub-3 runners. Although everyone was with me on that day...

19. Favorite Running Quote – “At Mile 20 during a marathon, that is where the true race begins.”

20. I’m one of those crazies who takes up a running challenge – 2009 miles in 2009, completing 50 marathons in 50 states, etc, I take running to the extreme.

21. I am most comfortable with running and feel that I can excel in it due to the way I feel about it. I don’t have to think when I run. It’s the only time where I feel like I just do and know what to do. I feel that it’s my always time. My time, where I am free from my troubles, technology and the world…my own bubble.

22. I have a running blog, where to me I find writing about anything else tough. Running just flows. I can read and write about running and find the excitement and joy in learning new each day. My philosophy in running is: Always ask questions, knowing that the answer from a fellow runner’s advice you can take or leave and try out. Each person has a different body and philosophy.

23. My senior superlative of 20 years was: “Brian will be running in the New York City marathon while passing a building he had designed and constructed” – Got the first part done, now need to design a building and pass it along the marathon route. (Other’s say that this can be easily be accomplished by designing an architectural “model” and placing it on the side while running the NYC marathon, and passing it along the route…cheaters!)

24. I was secretary for my running club this past year (2008) and had to output a newsletter which I graciously appreciate James for helping me out. We had bitter fights, loves (luva) and cheers/jeers…I must have spent more or equal time doing this than training.

25. The last and most important, I run for the Alzheimer’s Association as a charity once a year to run for a cause and hope one day they will help find a cure. I run for my grandmother who has this disease and that is the reason why I take pictures during marathons.

26.I have a running tattoo of 26.2....but hidden in a phoenix and dragon.

26.2 Ah! You always hate the last .2 Go hard, Finish strong and finish, that's the most important thing...(no sexual connotations here)

Damn it...forgot another one:My parents have yet to see a marathon of mine...they are just too busy with work and their restaurant...but they are the first I call after every marathon to tell them how I did and that I am ok. Second person is my sister, who actually understands the whole running concept of time, pace and distance.

Rule Jostles Runners Who Race to Their Own Tune

Published: November 1, 2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 — At the peak of the marathon season, with one of the year’s biggest races set for Sunday in New York, a worry has emerged among some runners, and it has nothing to do with hitting the wall at Mile 20: Will BeyoncĂ© be there to push them to the finish? Will they be able to call upon Bon Jovi for support when there is no one else to turn to?

USA Track & Field, the national governing body for running, this year banned the use of headphones and portable audio players like iPods at its official races. The new rule was created to ensure safety and to prevent runners from having a competitive edge.

But trying to enforce such a rule on a 26.2-mile course filled with thousands of runners may be futile. The New York City Marathon, which strongly discourages the use of audio players, will not attempt to police its field on Sunday for lack of a surefire way to carry out the ban.

Technically, at last weekend’s Marine Corps Marathon here, and even at much smaller events like the Creaky Bones 5-kilometer race in Florida and the Corn Maze 4-miler in Tennessee, runners should not have had the luxury of listening to their favorite songs along the way. Marine Corps Marathon officials threatened to disqualify runners using headphones, but did not follow through.

“To ban them outright is just stupid, and if they want to disqualify me, they can,” Jennifer Lamkins, a teacher from Long Beach Calif., said before running the Marine Corps Marathon. “If they are banning them because we can’t hear directions, does that mean they should ban deaf people, too?”

Elite runners do not listen to music in races because they need to concentrate on their own bodies and hear their competitors, and some die-hard, old-school runners follow suit. Those runners — purists who prefer the sound of the crowd or their own breathing over, say, “Fergalicious” — cheered the headphone ban.
But for competitors who use music as a motivational tool while training and competing, the ban was frustrating, as if the race directors were forcing them to run barefoot.

With technological advances leading to smaller and smaller audio players that are easier to carry and conceal during races, the rift in the sport and the debate over the issue seems to be here to stay.

“They can ban iPods all they want, but how do you think they are going to enforce that when those things have gotten so small?” said Richie Sais, 46, a police officer in Suffolk County on Long Island, before running the Marine Corps Marathon.

“I dare them to find the iPod on me,” he said, adding that he had clipped his iPod Shuffle, which is barely larger than a quarter, under his shirt.

Some events strongly discouraged the use of audio players in the past, but the track and field federation’s new rule mandated an outright ban so that runners would be more aware of their surroundings and be able to clearly hear race announcements or warnings from other runners.

Jill Geer, spokeswoman for USA Track & Field, said the ban was “basically an insurance issue,” because rates rise substantially if headphones are allowed. Each sanctioned race receives liability insurance from USA Track & Field, and it would be up to each race director to enforce the ban. If the ban were ignored, the races would be liable in the event of an accident caused by someone using headphones, Geer said.
While race officials could not cite specific incidents caused by headphone users, they did say that the new rule would make races safer because it improves communication. Still, they fear that banning headphones may alienate some recreational runners.

“Years ago, the picture of people running marathons was these lean, mean Type-A male running machines, but today people running are your neighbors, just regular people,” said Tracy Sundlun, executive vice president for Elite Racing, which organizes marathons. “It’s a different sport now and we have to cater to these new people, not exclude them”

Coming up with a way to enforce a headphone ban — if enforcement is even possible — has been a challenge for race organizers. Some have already taken a hard line, like the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., in June, which had a field of about 7,000 runners. Race officials collected iPods at the start and then mailed them back to competitors. Still, 30 maverick runners who broke the rules and used headphones were disqualified.

“We proved that it is very possible to enforce,” said Scott Keenan, the Grandma’s Marathon race director. “If other races are allowing it, then shame on them.”

Others are more lenient. The New York City Marathon’s race director, Mary Wittenberg, said it would be impossible to police a race with 38,000 runners moving through five boroughs. Wittenberg, who admitted that she used U2 songs to help get her through tough workouts, did not rule out a ban in the future. If all the major marathons agreed to enforce the rule, New York City would follow, she said.

“Our overwhelming concern is safety, but I think somebody is crazy to wear an iPod at this marathon for other reasons,” she said. “You want every single sense tuned in to the experience of running the race of a lifetime.”

Tucker Andersen, who has run in every New York City Marathon since 1976, scoffed at runners who rely on music to get them into a zone, and said it could create dangerous situations for other competitors. He remembered plenty of incidents in which runners, oblivious to the people around them, cut off others in a mad dash for a cup of water.

Andersen also said wearing headphones robs runners of the complete marathon experience. He remembered running alone across the Willis Avenue Bridge into the Bronx in his first marathon, about to hit the wall at the 20-mile point, when a teenager leaned out of a building’s window and played the theme song from “Rocky” on a boom box.

“If I was wearing an iPod, I never would have heard that,” Andersen said.

But nothing, no magical stories of crowd noise or strict rules that threatened disqualification, deterred some iPod users in the Marine Corps Marathon from bringing their music along on the 26.2-mile journey through scenic Washington and Virginia. They tucked them into their shorts, taped them to the inside of their bras, shoved them into tiny belts. They hid their headphones under headbands and ball caps.

No matter the rule, Jennifer Rock, an Air Force officer from Little Rock, Ark., would have her Sean Paul. She had her mother, Denise, meet her at Mile 15 to hand over her iPod. The race director Rick Nealis said the marines guarding the start line would remind competitors to leave their headphones behind, but there was no enforcement. More than 20,000 runners flooded the starting gate, many with iPods strapped to their arms and unabashedly wearing headphones, including the huge foam ones, circa 1985.

And in sections of the race course where spectators were scarce, including Mile 20, those rule breakers pressed the play button when the marathon became lonely and cruel.

For John-Louis Kronfeld of Chester, N.Y., that was near the end, when he realized he was breaking barriers and running farther than he ever had.

At the foot of the final stretch of the course, a windy, steep road that leads to the Marine Corps War Memorial, Kronfeld did not think he could take another step. Then he heard the first few notes of a song that saved him.
Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ started playing,” he said. “In my head, I was singing, ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ and suddenly I got that last nudge through the finish.”


Friday night lights...

"I run because I am an animal. I run because it is part of my genetic wiring. I run because millions of years of evolution have left me programmed to run. And, finally, I run because there's no better way to see the sun rise and set." AMBY BURFOOT, The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

Kidding! So I get an e-mail to go to Posto to meet up with J, James and "Carol". Rocketman couldn't show up, as we usually meet up from time to time to have breakfast or dinner after work or after a long run. It's always a great time with the crew. So I had thought I had to work for the armory today, but turned out that it didn't happen, so I had to go do extra work at the SCA for real work. (Which didn't come out as well as I had expected). I rushed home and went back out again to get some frames as I had already printed out the same picture of the four of us taken from the awards gala. Rocketman, james, J and me...it was the first picture we had take all of us together.

I quickly got the frames, went home and took a shower...wrote a small message (which each of them have) and I will not reveal it's whereabouts.

We had a lovely time at dinner as they were surprised by the present. It was unexpected of coure as I appreciate their friendship throughout the 3 years that I have known them all. It's the appreciation that I felt in the diner...That said it all.

I gave rocketman his on saturday night as I ran it over his place. It felt good to have some great friends like I do...my parents would be proud.

Power beans drop offSo yesterday I picket up power beans for GW as I stopped off at Jack Rabbit sports. I wanted to do a short mileage run today since it was beautiful out. I stayed in bed for the first half of the morning and needed to get up. I was to meet up with JM and wanted to get a run in before...so might as well drop off these power beans off since I didn't know if I was to see GW tomorrow at the race. I was going to try to do 5 miles beforehand and get some more mileage in. I went up 2nd ave and on my way up, I saw JT, who is an amazing veteran runner. I said hello, stopped to chat a little and then moved on. Went to super runners shop to check out the price of new shoes that I wanted to buy and then headed to GW's place...but took the long way to add on a mile. I left the power beans with his doorman...what a luxury in NYC with doormen and that great service for packages to be run over...then headed to the park. I would enter through engineers gate and start my way down to the time Warner Center where I would go in to The New York Running Company and check out the price of their shoe. After that, I was on my ways home as I had cut through Times Square...suicide to any runner or biker...but I love taking on that challenge. I finished up trying to make it to Jack Rabbits, although I must have turned too many corners and missed it...found myself too close to Union Square and just decided to go home.

The usual 10…

"Running is a thing worth doing not because of the future rewards it bestows, but because of how it feeds our bodies and minds and souls in the present." KEVIN NELSON, The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration

Going to the grocery store in the morning to beat the crowds I felt the wrath of the blistering cold. It was cold out and I had been contemplating on either running or taking a break. What is a break though? I know I seriously need to stop and realize that I need breaks!

But I went out anyways because I enjoy it and I wanted to see if my “kara” was out today. I got dressed and quickly made it out. I had to be back at my apartment by 2pm to go out to a job visit. I thought I had to work today at the Armory, but I went as my regular plans because I didn’t hear back from my employer (it’s a day to day thing, since my job went down to 4 days, I have been trying to find a part time job to make up my finances) I did my daily 10 miler, knowing that I didn’t want to do the piers and just run, be out there in the blistering cold and freeze to death.

I rounded out my run not exactly catching anyone this time around and going out in my normal fashion. I had been thinking about training harder and actually going out one race this year to see my potential. Training for a marathon, like hardcore training, in seeing what my muscles can handle and actually trying (tempo runs, speed work, etc) not the usual distance miles that I usually call training. It’s frustrating to know that you can put yourself under the 3 hour mark, although after each and every race, you feel the frustrations of how badly judged you ran. It’s the training involved and how badly you really want it…I guess I didn’t want it as much?
I ended my run at my office, picking up some stamps and chatting with a few people, then stopping by Jack Rabbits to pick up some Jelly Power Beans for GW for the race tomorrow (since they don’t have them up on the East side). Then stopping by Paragon Sports to check out if they still had a running shoe sale going on…Time to switch my shoes…lots of miles on these babies!

I finished the run with a final sprint down some avenues…still trying to keep it at speed work sprint drill, but finishing strong and fast in the end.